Roland Dürre
Sunday September 10th, 2017

Another “Coming Out“ – #BTW2017

A cynical party-parody. Unfortunately, I mean it seriously, which makes it a sad thing.

In two weeks, I will again have to vote.

Perhaps 50 years ago.

My civil “super-ego” forces me to go to the elections. After all, I do believe that democracy is doubtless one of the better political systems, even if ours has been seriously perverted and consequently suffered huge damage due to “election marketing”, the dominance of lobbyism when it comes to legislation and government and a party oligarchy.

Besides, the party I vote for will not only get my vote but also one Euro from the state (if certain requirements are met ).

Consequently, I have spent quite some time already in preparation for the next election Sunday. Here is the current state of my personal evaluation. I chose the exclusion principle:

For historical reasons, I cannot vote for the big “people’s parties“ CDU and CSU. They both are responsible for the German re-armament against the expressed wish of the German people. In quite a goal-oriented way, it was prepared by the protagonist Adenauer immediately after WW-II and then realized as soon as possible in a fashion that I would call “criminal”. 
In doing so, they failed to take advantage of a unique historical chance. A chance that perhaps no other country except Germany ever had – which was due to its miserable history in the 20th century. As a consequence of the establishment of the “Bundeswehr”, the GDR followed suit three years later with the creation of the “Volksarmee” – and that was the moment up from which two German states, both heavily armed, confronted each other on either side of a brutal border. 
Without re-armament, the revival of the German weapons industry would not have been possible, either. Another result was forced labour that they called “compulsory military service”. It cost me 18 months of my life. 
Moreover, both “C-parties” have – to this day – seen to it that the political and social characteristics of the FRG are such that it became an opportunistic and egoistic welfare system. Protection of your property has become the highest social value. Even the “C” in the name cannot camouflage that fact. 
Under CDU dominated governments, the state became a marionette of the industry, the destruction of the environment (air, water, soil, nature) was accepted and even promoted (!), as for instance can be seen in the war on the streets. It became the ruling task of the educational system that young people should be turned into consumers and trained to be the labouring masses for the industry. Social solidarity was misinterpreted and freedom was sacrificed. . 
Parties that, to this day, believe that all these measures were good will not get my vote.

Neither can I, these days, vote for the SPD and Green Party, because they not only supported all these things, but also must be made responsible for making foreign German Armed Forces activities possible. At the time, the red-green coalition broke a taboo:
The German Armed Forces were no longer exclusively for defence, but “in order to take world-wide responsibility”. Consequently, that was the time when the FRG started to not only export weapons but also war. 
Unfortunately, if you take a close look at history, the polemic rhyme: “Who was the traitor, social democrats?” is only too true for the SPD. Even my agreeing with the ideal of social democracy cannot make up for this. 
As I see it, the Green Party developed from an idealistic-moralistic party to become an indoctrinated event – besides, I observe that the change from being an opposition to becoming a reigning party took place in an exceptionally foul way: ideals were sacrificed for positions and power.

I do not want to give my vote to the FDP. I am not really familiar with their negative historic achievements because I never took great notice of the party. However, in my perception, the FDP is and always was a party that – with the exception of a few protagonists – always acted rather opportunistic. It also basically always functioned as a party of patronage. And they received even more huge donations from industry than the other aforementioned parties. Besides: if someone demands and propagates FREEDOM yet does not know the meaning of the word, then I do not want to support them.

So what other parties do we have?

Currently, the AfD is rather successful. Well, I need not give reasons in this article why I cannot and will note vote for them. Just like the NPD is out of the question for me. Luckily, it seems like the NPD is no longer relevant. Regardless of the fact that, for reasons I cannot follow, the aforementioned parties constantly seem to try and forbid the NPD, rather than the AfD.

Next, let us take a look at the “Freien Wähler“ and the Freie Bürger Union (FBU). In Wikipedia, several groups of voters  and one small party call themselves “Freie Bürger Union“. They are present in various German cities and constituencies. Bavaria is a regional centre of these groups. And: they consist of bourgeois conservative or rightist-liberally  oriented regional communal politicians, activists and sometimes former representatives of the CDU/CSU who are no longer party members. I cannot give them my vote. 
Among other things, the Freien Wähler want to strengthen municipal self-administration. Their given reason for becoming candidates both on county and state level is that the politics of county and state undermine the independence of the municipalities The party is in favour of separate financial responsibility for the municipalities. On the European level, the party demands that excluding a region must become a set rule in parliament. I cannot vote for them.

So now I need to discuss the “Piraten”. According to Wikipedia, this party considers itself the party of the Information Society and thus as part of the international movement for participation when it comes to the change, they give high priority to “digital revolution” and consequently the information society. I rather like that. In fact, I already voted for the Pirates once in the past. To me, they seemed like a party full of values that, luckily, did not have a programmatic approach. Instead, they basically want to provide their know-how on digitalization, which is a focal point of their agenda. I also knew some members of the Pirate party. They were small entrepreneurs or else freelancers. Some of them were quite nice. 
Then, however, the Pirates thought they had to write a program and thus give up the principle of free actions following the best possible knowledge. In my eyes, this was how they exchanged their agile souls for the hope of success. Ever since then (as a matter of course), their development was in one direction only: down. For me, they were no longer a party I could vote for. What a pity.

Now I already analysed 10 (in words: ten) parties and none of them can get my vote! Am I heading towards abstaining? Will I let my election-Euro go unused? Well, not all is lost, because there are a few parties left.

I find Die Linke in Wikipedia. It says that Die Linke (aka  Linkspartei )  was created through the merging of the SPD splitter WASG and the Linkspartei.PDS. The latter is a result of a re-naming of the SED successor PDS in 2005. This is how Die Linke suffers from a stigma that, to this day, has prevented it from becoming acceptable in society. Allegedly, there are still numerous SED and Stasi people on board, although this seems unlikely to me, if only for demographic reasons. If I were the Wahlomat kind of person, I would probably vote for “Die Linke”, because in their program, I find quite a few things that I absolutely agree with. 
On the other hand, I own a small but industriously earned amount of money – and there is a historic fear in me that the communists might wish to take my millions away from me. As they say: “Only the most stupid calves will vote for their own butchers.“
Apropos calves: there is a Song, but it is directed against the AfD – rather than against Die Linke. However, I do not wish to be a stupid calf.
On the other hand, perhaps I should vote for Die Linke, after all? With modern “democratic honesty”, you should probably vote for the party that you like best. Consequently, I cannot discount the possibility of giving them my vote. Albeit without enthusiasm. But then, enthusiasm left me a long time ago.

But I have not yet reached that stage. I keep looking. Riding my bike to Unterhaching, I see a poster advertising “Die Grauen”. I am thinking of my sparse pension. If I had nothing on top of it, I would be really poorly off. Regardless of the fact that I paid the highest possible pension insurance for decades.
However: Die Grauen have the slogan “For all Generations”. What a disappointment. They are not in favour of us retired people, after all.
However, I find it nice, because I have children and grandchildren. And I want them, too, to be well off. 
According to Wikipedia, “Die Grauen” see themselves in the tradition of the movement Graue Panther that was founded in the 1970ies by Trude Unruh. As opposed to this movement, the party does not see itself as a party for the elderly, but instead has an all-encompassing political approach that they also want to see reflected in the name tag amendment. They formulate their philosophy in the foreword of the party program: “In a global world that moves faster and faster, Die Grauen want to combine the energy of youth with the experience of the elderly and form a society worth living in”. Well, this seems to sound nice. For me, however, it contains too many buzzwords. So I will gladly forget Die Grauen.

I start getting desperate. I found a dozen parties – and only one of them is even remotely an option. But – as they say: never give up. If you fall down, you have to get up again. Clean your mouth and continue.

So I continue. And lo and behold, I see a poster with a very special message:
Don’t be a Horst!

That is something I understand immediately. I definitely would not wish to be one. When he was Minister of Health in Berlin, he committed enough crimes. And now he is king of Bavaria. 
Except: the poster advertises “Die Partei”. According to Wikipedia, DIE PARTEI  is a party for work, for a constitutional state, for animal protection, for elite promotion and for basis-democratic initiatives (Apronym: Die PARTEI). It is a German small party that was founded in 2004 by a few editors of the satire magazine Titanic and distinctly has parody character.“ 
We also read: Die PARTEI meets the legal requirements formulated in the Parteiengesetz. However, some doubt that their program is actually meant seriously. Among other things, they imitate characteristics and electoral campaign methods used by other parties and occasionally some of the members are seen on other party’s events.

Well, basically I am the type of reader who reads POSTILLON, but you must never be too one-sided. “Die Partei“ is also called the satire party. When I hear satire, I think cabaret. And immediately, I think of people like Bruno Jonas, Claus Wagner, Dieter Hildebrandt, Gerhard Polt, Jörg Hube, Josef Hader, Georg Schramm, Maximilian „Max“ Uthoff, Sigi Zimmerschied, Urban Priol (Pelzig) and Werner Schneyder. Not to forget the much-loved Hanns Dieter Hüsch. These are all people I saw many times and some of them I was personally acquainted with. They all absolutely impressed me with their sensitivity, their sharp intellect and their precise logics. I admire how they were able to retain their sense of humour in the face of everything. These are people I managed to have honest discussions with quite quickly.

Most of the cabaret people I saw on TV or when I went to their shows made a huge impression on me. Maybe it makes sense, after all, to actually vote for a “satire party”. Especially if such a party offers itself to frustrated non-voters who need to be persuaded to vote at all? 
Unfortunately, this party, too, has a shadow looming over it. A short time ago, I followed a constructive facebook discussion about whether or not anybody can call himself responsible if he votes for a satire party in times like ours, where the social spiral rapidly points downwards and huge problems loom over the horizon. Because times are basically the exact opposite of hilarious. 
As I see it, this is a serious argument. But then, maybe we should solve the problems with serious humour? So now I found another party besides Die Linke that might qualify as a recipient of my cross and one Euro.

However, I want more. This is not the way to get on. So now I use another concept of thought and ask myself what was the last relevant social change in Bavaria I considered progress and which party initiated it.

The answer is easy – it was Non-Smokers’ Protection. In Bavaria, it has now even been enforced on the Octoberfest, which is something that seemed to be unthinkable for a long time. Consequently, this year, I can really look forward to the Octoberfest that takes place at the same time as the elections. I will spend the evening of election day with friends drinking in a smoke-free environment. In Bavaria, the protection of non-smokers was initiated after a plebiscite “Non-Smokers’s Protection” on July, 4th,2010 after a successful  petition for a referendum  “For true non-smokers’ protection!“. The petition had aimed at changing the Bavarian Health Protection Law (Gesundheitsschutzgesetz, GSG). As a consequence, they eventually installed a ban on smoking  in all pubs without exception. The C party had been against it on the grounds that, allegedly, the entire Bavarian restaurant sector would be ruined. The initiative had come from Sebastian Frankenberger and the ÖDP.
Well, my discussion of parties had actually not yet mentioned the ÖDP. Incidentally, their program is a fairly good match to my ideas. However, I sometimes fear that there might be a lot of protestant frugality and catholic saintliness in this party. However, as long as the goals are the right ones and I am not forced to become a catholic…

So now I found three parties that might actually be worthy of my vote: Die Linke, the Partei and the ÖDP. During the next few weeks, I will gather some more information and think about it – and then I will decide. After all, I know full well that decisions are always made under uncertainty.

And now, for the time being, there is an end to me “outings”.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Today, when I rode my bike home, I saw a DKP poster at the Ottobrunn S-Bahn station. It said: “More Income, Less Armament”. Well, that sounds reasonable and rational. But can anybody vote for DKP? Somehow or other, that would be strange.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday August 23rd, 2017

Why We Need Christophine! (II)

Why We Need Christophine! (I)

That is what I wrote on July, 12th. It was a few days after I, at the age of 67, was permitted to once again attend primary school. At Christophine. And it makes me very happy how much encouragement I received after having published my article.

This is how I make the experience that my criticism about how children world-wide are “educated” and “instructed” more than a loner’s issue. Because if we talk school, we mostly mean that a young person is “trained” or “formatted” – and the appreciation of the child is totally neglected.

How you can treat children with respect and give them space to learn and experience life under their own control and highly motivated is exactly what I was allowed to see on June, 23rd in Marbach on the river Neckar. Here is my report:

On this Friday, I was part of the class for half a day. Being a nervous new student, I was, naturally, very early. And I enjoyed how the boys and girls arrived one after the other. All of them were in a good mood and joyful – apparently they were quite happy to go to school.

As soon as the class was complete, they all sang a song together. The song was a welcome in many languages – so we shared looking forward to the day.

After the song, the first round of this Friday morning went to the children. They told the class about an experience that had been important to them. One of the children moderated the round – each day, this task is assigned to a different child.
A self-made cardboard box was handed from narrator to narrator – it had a green circle on one side and a red circle on the opposite side. As long as a child spoke, the listeners were shown the red side (Please do not talk, listen to me!).

As soon as the narrator was finished and questions were allowed, the box was turned around and everybody saw the green side (Now your questions and comments are welcome!).

It was great to see how nice and short both the narratives and the questions and answers were. How the children paid attention while listening and letting everybody say all they wanted to say. I had to think of all the brutal chaos I so often experienced during many discussions with grown-ups (meetings with very important persons) …

The second round was about planning the work ahead. The children decided what they wanted to do during the rest of the morning. I was quite surprised to see the high degree of motivation shown by the children and how realistic they were about evaluating their own competence, which is what they then based their activities on.

At the Christophine, nobody is forced to sit down. That is why all the children wear very soft-soled shoes, because they do not want to disturb others when they work. Because that is an important right. You can also demand it (Please do not disturb me while I am working!). You can work in groups or individually, depending on what makes sense to you. And if the weather is fine, you can also work outdoors.

It stroke me that, at the Christophine, there is an order that serves everybody. It is not seen as a constraint.

Instead, it is seen as something that allows a successful social setting. Nor is it self-serving. Instead, it creates a workspace that allows a reasonable treatment both for yourself and together with others.

The language at this school is full of mutual respect – and I would call it “altero-centric”. The children listen, let others finish and relate to what the other child wants. This is very rare among adults. Consequently, I saw a surprising degree of true and violence-free communication at this school. I saw how people relate to each other as I do not often see it with grown-ups.

Naturally, there was also a conflict situation. However, this situation was not waltzed over by teachers, nor was anybody punished. The quarrelling parties (one was a boy, the other a girl) were advised to deal with the conflict situation in a reasonable way. And when it became difficult, the two young people were invited to retreat and solve their problem in private. And when, later on, they went to the village fountain and both put their hands under water, the conflict was over.

And whenever the grown-up world came to mind, I had tears in my eyes. Yes, Rupert Lay was quite right when he said that children are wise creatures. And that we, the parents and teachers, sacrifice their wisdom on the altar of education.

And I also believe that we have actually made progress, for instance through the Montessori School ( Montessori Schule) concept. But that is not enough for me. What we need is many free and self-organized schools with a modern concept. Without indoctrination and central rules.

Now I enjoy the Greek sun. And I wonder what I can do for Christophine.

In my current life phase, I try to find my own peace and multiply my love. Because this is the basis of everything else. I spend a lot of time helping mentees (while they study and when they start their professional careers) and young entrepreneurs (with their start-ups). This is because I want them to become more successful and happier in their lives.

I support young mothers on their way back into work by helping them to write “alternative cv-s” (telling them to describe what they can and wish to do, instead of what they did in the past).

With friends of mine, I founded barcamps and PM Camps and similar events in order to make the concepts of “new ideas” and “breaking patterns” more popular. All the time, I am busy building networks for people in general in order to make them stronger and greater together. And I try to live a mobility that makes sense and I express my desire for peace.

And some of it actually seems to work out quite well. That is something that really makes me a little happier.

But would it not be better to invest my time and strength by helping the very small and weak people? Our children and grandchildren. As I see it, they are worse off each year, because they are robbed of their freedom and indoctrinated more and more due to so-called practical constraints. Just because you want them to become nice citizens and
consumers.

Basically, our society wants the very best, but then they could not do a worse job if they tried. Unfortunately, our children are the best example for this. Consequently, should it not be my main goal to do something for our children? To make them feel big, instead of small? And to give them a chance towards getting the best start for a successful life as free and autonomous persons?

Well, those are the typical ideas you get during a wonderful time-out.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The “Marbacher Pädagogik“ by Lorenz Obleser is something I consider a match for the modern concept we need. In my article “Christophine III”, I will try to formulate something with him and other protagonists of Christophine in the IF blog.

Roland Dürre
Thursday July 20th, 2017

A Day With Love …

Exactly one month ago, I turned 67. Few people brought me a present, because my friends accept that I already have all I need. And that I do not care for useless gimmicks . I appreciate that this is how my friends treat me.
Luckily, once in a while, there is a person who makes an exception to this rule.
🙂 I am grateful for these exceptions, too. Paul, for instance, gave me the book:

A Day With Love by Moshen Charifi

It was a good thing to get this book because I often have the impression that I was born into this world equipped with many eyes. I already saw and experienced very much with my eyes.

Unfortunately, however, those eyes closed more and more as my life continued. Perhaps it was because of my socialization at home or at school or for whatever reasons.

Now, as I grow older, I get the impression that my eyes re-open to some extent. It is a process that you probably can also describe as “learning”. Consequently, I believe that “learning” can also be a synonym for “living”.

To say it in a nutshell: so far, I read half of the book and I notice that reading it has again re-opened several of my closed eyes. And this is how it also, again, added to my happiness.

The content of the book is quite banal, and yet it is totally breath-taking.
On a beautiful summer day, “LOVE” and “INFATUATION” meet to go for a walk. “Infatuation” wants to learn from “LOVE” and “LOVE” – who formerly also used to be “INFATUATION”, is happy to share her knowledge with “infatuation”.

While walking through the wonderful summer, they get into a dialogue about love. The experienced “LOVE” supports “INFATUATION” as she seeks it.
This dialogue turns into a wonderful and great metaphor that helped me to become a little more peaceful and happy.

I almost wrote “I found a little more love”. However, this sounds a little too strong for me and I also do not yet know if I am already prepared to accept such a huge thing (or if I will ever be).

The dialogue between LOVE and INFATUATION is full to the brim with small but wonderful insights. For instance, “infatuation” explains one of her weaknesses by the fact that she does “not want to lose face”.

However, the reply LOVE gives – in my words – is that you cannot lose face, you can only lose the mask that camouflages your face. Actually, I do, indeed, have many masks and I am always happy if I manage to lose one of them.

This is only one example out of many insights, all of which are part of the metaphor.

For me, the special quality of the dialogue between INFATUATION and LOVE is remarkable and particularly beautiful. It is the ideal pattern of how peaceful communication can be. It has not happened often that I witnessed and understood in such a nice way how non-violent communication can work.

I was deeply moved by how LOVE kept trying to hand her experience and knowledge down to “infatuation” in a way that was not indoctrinating. Without any form of arrogance or presumptuousness. How LOVE manages to relate to INFATUATION. And how she absolutely refrains from hurting or making INFATUATION look smaller because of her superiority.

And it is just as nice to read how INFATUATION reacts, replies after thorough contemplation and asks clever questions. And how LOVE again deals in a precise way with these questions.

Rarely have I understood so well – without any theoretical indoctrination – what the words consideration and communication mean.

Now I will imitate Paul and give the book to a few other people.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
My only regret is that I have never met the author Moshen Charifi. But who knows, perhaps that, too, will happen one day!

Roland Dürre
Monday May 29th, 2017

Nomads on the Cyclades – MILOS

This time around, we started our island hopping 2017 on May, 22nd in Serifos, coming from Piräus.We continued via Sifnos to Milos. Tomorrow, we will leave Sifnos and go to Paros and Antiparos. And on May, 29th, we will return to Piräus and spend our last Greek night before the return flight from Athens to Munich there.

I managed to read the book (almost) in one go – sitting on my balcony in the hotel Beach Lagada.

When we arrived in Milos, I found a book in the Adamas coal mining museum. I found it so exciting that I read it in one go. The title is
THE DOCTOR HANS LÖBER
Letters from Milos, 1943-1944
Edited and with a comment by Dr. Hanns-Georg Löber and Gregory Belivanakis.

This book made such a huge impression on me that I absolutely recommend it. So, dear Cyclades hiker: if you ever come to Milos and if you wish to know more about the island, you want to buy it.

Here are a few ideas: 
During WW2, many Greek islands were occupied by the Deutsche Wehrmacht and the army of the Italian allies. Consequently, they were military strongholds. Dr. Hans Löber was a marine medical officer who, after having been sent to various battlefields also had had the order to build up a medical “district” in Milos on the “North-Ocean” in 1943. This district was supposed to make sure the German soldiers injured during the intended military operations in the Mediterranean Sea had sufficient medical attention. Thanks to his special organizational talent, he was very successful, regardless of extremely difficult conditions.

Quasi as a side effect, he also built a military hospital for the locals of Milos who were not at all well cared for medically. Among the natives, this brought him a lot of respect, appreciation and gratitude.

It happened quite frequently that I found testimony of the German occupation of Greece during WW2 when visiting the Peloponnesus and the Cyclades. Especially in Kavralyta (see my  pre-view of the Peloponnesus hiking trip early in May 2017), I was deeply moved when I heard about the Deutsche Wehrmacht massacre, which had been a reaction to partisan skirmishes and where some villages were destroyed and around 100 people were murdered.

In this book, the letters Dr. Hans Löber sent home during his time on Milos are published, probably unabridged. They are supplemented by a few commentaries by the editors and a selection of historical photos.

What makes the book special is the high amount of humanity that the letters convey. These are the reports and confessions of a highly religious and “true and upright” German. And I mean true and upright in the best sense of the words.

However, they are also impressive contemporary documents. For instance, the writer of the letters constantly relates events of the war and political events he heard on the island. The letters convey both his unbroken joy of life and his big personal misery caused by the death in action of two of his brothers.

But the documents also show how perfect and perfidious the Wehrmacht was organized and how humans were used in the war as resources in order to reach a questionable goal. And also how WW2 was minutely planned and realized by the German Administration. That was also true for fringe topics such as field post or air field post or the German Military Radio Station in Athens, from where a program from Milos was broadcast on Christmas Day.

Above all, this book is – even if that is not said expressly anywhere – an impressive appeal for PEACE. That is why I recommend that every upright person should read it.

Milos, May, 29th, 2017

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
You can also order it online – the proceeds will support a hospital in Milos.

Roland Dürre
Thursday May 18th, 2017

Armies in General and The Bundeswehr in Particular.

About War and PEACE.

It is a great achievement to be able to be peaceful and drink your beer.

Currently, you can again read a lot about the German Armed Forces. Suddenly, many issues re-surface, things that were well known are newly discovered and Frau van der Leyen wants to repair it all. With things such as a “new tradition awareness regulation” and the like. They even start talking about reviving the general military draft. That gives me pause!

However, none of these things will help. Because every army will collapse sooner or later, certainly when matters get serious. Because armies can only function if you have people who can actually see beyond humaneness.

War will always thrive on hatred and enmity. It brings murder and death, useless destruction and annihilation. The soldiers are the instruments that actually realize war.

Consequently, I will now give voice to three theses that show that the German Armed Forces cannot work as they say it works. All three theses are relevant, and not only because of the current developments and discussions. Yet I never hear them in public discussions. Because they would show us how irrational war is. And that is something politics world-wide do not want – among other reasons because the weapons industry does not want it.


First Thesis

An army is not and can never be a “normal” enterprise.

Politics often claim that the German Armed Forces are a normal enterprise that produces security. But that is not what it is. Because: an enterprise is defined as a social system with an economic goal. Said goal is realized through producing things or offering services that the market (the people) need or think they need.

Naturally, the German Armed Forces are also a social system. However, it does not have an economic goal. Its goal is simply to destroy and kill. Its legitimation is fear and its lie of a camouflage is the service “security”. It is considered a matter of course that it exists – based on indisputable “forces”. That is why nobody spends a lot of time thinking about it and, unfortunately, only few persons in Germany sincerely question it.

After WW-II, there was the dream of a peaceful Germany without an army. This dream was quickly destroyed through the re-armament in the 1950s.

The reasons given in favour of armed forces changed again and again during the last sixty years. Let me relate to you how I experienced it as a witness of the time. When it was re-started, the Bundeswehr was sold to us as a

  • DEFENSE ARMY
    Thus, the re-armament was a necessary contribution towards defending the “free west”. It was realized against the wishes of the majority of the “stupid” citizens. 
At the time, almost the entire world was – totally irrationally – divided into two blocks through external IMAGES OF THE ENEMY. At school (I grew up in the FRG and was indoctrinated accordingly), I learned that the “East”, which was downtrodden and enslaved by Stalin & Co, wanted to conquer us – the free and rich “West” – and then force communism on us.
    Two blocks confronted each other in maniac distrust, each of them overflowing with weapons and with armies that consisted of millions of people. Ideologically and systemically, they were total opponents. You could only have either COMMUNISM or CAPITALISM. The former was extremely evil, the latter was paradise. The other side said the exact opposite. 
In these blocks, there were two not quite “totally independent states” that had no army. In the West, it was the FDG, in the East, it was the GDR. Due to the image of the enemy – caused by FEAR – and probably also because of pressure put on them by the “allies”, the FRG was the first of the two to decide that re-armament was necessary. They established the Bundeswehr. A few years later, the East reacted, the Peoples’ Army was established in the GDR. This is how the “German” GDR became the most unrelenting enemy of the “German” FRG. The extension was the Warshaw Pact (UdSSR and the rest), i.e., the world of the communists. 
Since everybody understood more or less clearly that the “defense case” would mean the new total destruction of Europe, there came a time when this model was no longer so famous. Consequently, the military strategists came up with something new, the
  • ADVANCE DEFENSE
    They gave people the illusion that war could be kept from your own country and that the enemy can be destroyed (beaten) before you suffer detrimental consequences yourself. Since this assumption did not ring very true, it was based on things like “total deterrence through overkill” and “first-hit doctrine”. . 
The concept reminds me a little of how, today, they think you can win wars by sitting at your desk and sending fighting robots and drones. You will find others to do your dirty work for you. 
The doctrine of advance defence, too, became doubtful. The people no longer believed it, the Cold War disappeared, Russia capitalized itself (late). Corruption increased. Despotism started to grow. Consequently, they looked for “new tasks” for our army – and they found them. The German Armed Forces became part of the
  • World Police
    After all, Germany was glamorous again. Being an economic world-power – so they said – we had the duty to take more “responsibility” for the (new) world order. Along the way, we also noticed that, due to our throw-away-society, we are rather dependent on raw materials and that said raw materials often come from far remote countries. And we assumed that some evil-minded guys of this world wanted to steal them from us. That was another reason to become part of the American World Police. 
Totally as a logical conclusion, the Green and Social-Democratic Parties (!) as the ones in power decided that our Armed Forces were now also necessary abroad. Because if it is not in Germany, waging war is not so bad and no taboo. You can kill people and destroy houses.
    (This alone should be reason enough to never again vote for either of the two parties.)
    This is how we became part of the export of weapons system. 
However, if you look at the wars of the last sixty years, you will soon realize that none of these wars ever improved a situation or solved a problem. All those wars were more or less a failure or totally useless. They always brought a lot of misery to people, many persons were killed or injured, crimes against humanity were committed on a daily basis and the destruction of infrastructure was always massive. Yet, the “political result” was always failure. 
The “small” NATO war on the Balkan is often cited as an example for a successful and just “campaign”. Well, I am not so sure about that. Apart from considerable destruction and the creation of victims, the consequence was that Yugoslavia was liquidated and replaced by a number of small countries. Following modern diction (the belief in huge units such as Europe), this is not considered advantageous, either. 
But it is actually possible that the Balkan war ended useless bloodshed through determined bloodshed. I might perhaps accept this instance as the one exception that proves the rule. 
As soon as we started war against (marched into) Afghanistan, it was clear to me that, basically, war can never solve problems. As a side effect, we learned that it is hard to gain raw materials by means of weapons. It is much easier to buy them with good products and hard cash. Thus, the motivation to play world police dwindled and they needed a new reason for waging war. Luckily for our military and politicians, there was a new enemy:
  • TERRORISM
    Thus, we started our war against terrorism. We even have units stationed in Turkey. Since, basically, terrorism may also come with the refugees, we protect our border on the Mediterranean with armed forces through Frontex. In order to fight terrorism, we are prepared to increase our budget for more armament by fifty per cent in relation to our gross national product. In doing so, we are true to a promise we gave many years ago totally unnecessarily – a promise that our favourite ally under Trump is now demanding we deliver .
I wonder what new enemy they will find when they find out that terrorism cannot be fought with war, either.

Second Thesis

The military principle will cause all armies to derail sooner or later.

The militia and armies are based on a cruel principle. Every soldier must be ready to kill and die if he is ordered to. In war, this is an absolute necessity, because otherwise war will not function. This is something every recruit should be made aware of when he decides to be a soldier. 
Following military concepts, it is impossible that a soldier judges whether or not an order is ethically just or if it can be boycotted. Especially in the real-world scenario, this is unthinkable. Just like it is unthinkable that a soldier may desert his post when he starts having doubts. Deserting your post is a no-go and cannot be compatible with war functioning. 
Since such a situation is about life or death (that is why some desert), there can only be one punishment for a deserter – the immediate execution. Everything else is wishful thinking. War will not work if a soldier is free to desert. Just remember the old proverb:

Imagine there is a war and nobody joins.

If, for instance, today the occasional deserter from the Third Reich’s Wehrmacht is “rehabilitated”, then this is total hypocrisy. Just like the fairy tale about the citizen in uniform is fraud and a lie. It will only work if the army is some kind of bluff weapon that is never supposed to actually be used. I do not believe that his has ever been the case for the German Armed Forces of the FRG – and even if it was so, then that is definitely no guarantee that it may not still be put to practice
So:
Soldiering is based on the perverse basic principle: “Kill or die on order”.

This principle has to be practiced daily. Basically, a social system with this underlying principle cannot develop in a socially reasonable way and it cannot be healthy either. Sooner or later, it must collapse, either totally or in parts. Armies will always feed from the “honour of the private” and his virtues and heroic deeds. In order to keep this stupid pretence up, you will always need a mystic tradition. And this is where the Third Reich Wehrmacht is an ideal concept for today’s German Armed Forces. After all, it was extremely successful for a few years and was consequently glorified in a unique way.
And thus, the perhaps sub-conscious admiration of “heroic deeds of the German Wehrmacht”, transported through several generations, is probably still found in the hearts of many young persons. 
(Cynical note: 
Formerly, I sometimes visited computer vintage markets. And I always met the most enthusiastic computer people. Good IT people basically love computer vintage, and good soldiers love weapon vintage).

Third Thesis

The weapons industry promotes war.

To me, this thesis sounds trivial. Consequently, it is quite clear that I will not make a huge effort to justify it. For the weapons industry, war means “making real money”. If you build weapons, you need war. And we all know that today the concerns generally have a huge influence on political decisions and also on legislation, etc. I am sure that the weapons industry is not in the habit of mincing words.

One of my friends, Jolly Kunjappu, can show you particularly well how weapons concerns “plan and make wars”. You can meet him on July, 8th in the Munich Literaturhaus.


I believe that the re-armament and consequently also the establishment of the weapons industry was the greatest sin of the German post-war politics. This decision was prepared by Adenauer in a conspiratorial way immediately after the FRG started to exist and then it was established against the wishes of the German majority. In my eyes, that was a criminal act and it deprived Germany and the world of a chance.

For us, there is perhaps no other way than to “dis-arm” step-by-step. We have to cut down on weapons budgets world-wide. We have to minimize the influence of the weapons industry – and at the same time, we must also become more peaceful, at least in small steps.

Consequently, here is what I ask of you: please be for PEACE. And you will make me happy if you read my category PEACE  and especially A PEACE manifesto .

Thank you so much!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday April 10th, 2017

Jolly on July, 8th in the Literaturhaus München.

Every person has his or her own rhythm. They only need to find it.

Being human is not always easy. Especially if you want to live in peace, it is often hard. Perhaps living happily is even harder. You have to practice it. Above all: everybody has to begin with himself/herself. For every one of us, the world is primarily about ME, which is YOU.

Consequently, we have to learn to appreciate and love ourselves. And, above all, we have to become more peaceful. We have to take responsibility for ourselves (ME) and bring this in harmony with the responsibility for the whole (WE). This is how we can develop our own personal recipe for happiness.

My friend Jolly says it in a nutshell. We have to find our rhythms. Each his or her own. On Saturday, July, 8th, he will show you how to do it!

As always, I will look forward to meeting many friends when Jolly performs. But remember: the Literaturhaus is not very big and will be soon booked out.

So you want to buy your ticket early. I will gladly help you.

RMD
(Translated by Evelyn)

P.S.
On Thursday, April, 28th, 2016, Jolly spoke in favour of PEACE in my Unterhaching office building. We were allowed to film him. Here is his full performance!

I recommend that you enjoy the video with friends and a nice glass of red wine. I promise that the 60 minutes you spend watching it are a very good time investment. And afterwards, you will have a lot to talk about.

Roland Dürre
Tuesday February 28th, 2017

Prejudices, Aversions and Resentment will not bring PEACE.

The Way to PEACE Starts Inside Myself.

Last year, I spent a few days in the philosophic seminar with my friend Klaus-Jürgen Grün. Each time, I learned many new things. One of the topics of our philosophic research was resentment.

Staying with Klaus makes me thoughtful, staying at certain places encourages me to reflect.

Consequently, I started thinking about my own resentments. For me, aversions, resentments and prejudices are the little sisters of hatred. I want to find where they are inside me in order to prevent them from growing further and from taking possession of me.

Like hatred, they are a paradox. They, too, are directed against the “others”, but mostly damage the person who has them inside. Like fear, they happen between the ears and will make you aggressive and unhappy.
And that is certainly something that is not necessary. I do not wish to harm myself because I am prejudiced against others. After all, it is not logical, is it?

So I try to become aware of my aversions and resentments and ask questions about them. I know that they are based on prejudices, i.e., on totally irrational assumptions. And that they can cause terrible judgement in advance.
Basically, this is all about how everything goes without saying in my life. I find a new prejudice inside myself every day. They all cause negative communication and unfair treatment.

What is worse: I noticed that the very characteristics I hate most about myself are those I dislike in others. That is when I think I should first look for my own mistakes and, where possible, correct them. And after that, the world will already look totally different.

Consequently, it is a lot more constructive for me to start on the way towards PEACE inside myself. This is how I will become stronger, instead of pushing myself down because I get annoyed about others. Because it is as useless as a canker, gains me nothing and will harm nobody but myself.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday February 27th, 2017

A Manifesto for PEACE!

It is always rewarding to tune in to Bayern2. This time, it was the “Culture Journal” that found my heart.

Ingeborg Bachmann: Graffito by Jef Aérosol at the Klagenfurt Musilhaus

Yesterday’s program had literature and poetry after the war as its topic. The last interview was with the publicist Peter Hamm. It made a huge impression on me. You can listen to the entire program as a podcast  (Kulturjournal of February, 26th,  2017).

Peter Hamm related in a very intense way how, early in the 1950s, he suffered because of the re-armament. To put it bluntly, he said that “the re-armament meant the end of his relation with the new nation”. At the time, he had read works by authors such as Ingeborg Bachmann and Nelly Sachss. And that is how they found the “manifesto of his generation”, the poem “Alle Tage” by Ingeborg Bachmann.

And that was when my brains said “click”. Because this poem was also the manifesto of our youth. It is a cry for help by Ingeborg Bachmann that is more modern than ever before!

 

 

Each Day
War is no longer declared,
it just continues. The unspeakable
has become normal.The hero
remains aloof from the fights. The weak ones
are now under fire.
Patience is the uniform of the day,
your decoration is a pitiful star
of hope above the heart.

It will come in last
if nothing more happens,
after the barrage has ended,
when the enemy has become invisible
and the shadow of never-ending armament
spreads to the horizon.

It will be awarded
for fleeing and deserting,
for bravery before your friend,
for treason through telling unworthy secrets
and for not following

any orders.

Ingeborg Bachmann

(1952)

 

When I read it, my only emotion was sadness. And especially the last six lines say exactly what I crave!    
It would make me truly happy if “Alle Tage“ were also to become the manifesto of the young generation!

RMD
(Translated by Evelyn)

P.S.
On this lyrikline page, you will also find an audio version of “Alle Tage”.
I took the image and signature of Ingeborg Bachmann from the German Wikipedia page.

For more information on the poem, see:
© Piper Verlag GmbH, München 1978
Aus: Die gestundete Zeit. 1953.
Heute in: Werke Band 1
München: Piper, 1978
ISBN: 3-492-11700-7
The audio production lyrikline is by the Norddeutscher Rundfunk (1952). It, too, impressed me very much.

Roland Dürre
Tuesday February 21st, 2017

MORE MONEY FOR ARMAMENT …

Says the USA as they look towards EUROPE …

 

 
 
 

I find it terrible

  • After all, up to now I believed it is the world-wide goal of everybody to wage fewer wars, kill fewer people, produce less misery and build fewer weapons.
  • And that weapons always will only be useful for business in the weapons industry.
  • In the last fifty years, I myself never knew a war that solved any problems. On the contrary.
  • Side effect: now I know that Greece (relative to its gross national product) is the EU country that spends most money on armament (2,4 %) and Germany (thanks to the strict rules formulated by the “federation partners” when we were “re-united”), least (1,2 %).
  • Just like I always also hear that, among all the EU countries, Greece is worst off and Germany best off.
    🙂 Honi soit qui mal y pense!
  •  

     
     
     

And here are some questions.

  • Why does not EUROPE counter by asking the USA to spend more money on climate protection?
  • How does EUROPE expect to become more independent if they do not vehemently oppose the amoral request of the USA, rather than agreeing like an obedient sheep?
  • What exactly are the shared values of the USA and Europe that need to be defended?
    (Would you like me to guess? I cannot think of very much.)
  • Does the NATO really have to manoeuvre in the Baltic States and already plan the next manoeuvres in Poland?

In particular, I do not understand it because EUROPE, just like the USA (and the same is true for the enemy RUSSIA) are bankrupt with permanently increasing debts. And besides, these nations, just like the entire world, have totally different concerns that they really should get worried about. It is the “fear that eats up the soul” and truly fills the heads of some old men from a world long gone. That makes me sad.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday February 14th, 2017

Woebegone Europe – What Exactly Is It?

At the moment, nobody can probably say what kind of construct the so-called ’Europe’ is. Economically, it does not look too good, its crisis countries struggle against increasing unemployment rates, it is politically divided and the citizens and elites have become more and more each other’s enemies because, after seven years of Euro crisis, they now see themselves confronted with a refugee stream from Africa and the Near East that does not look like it will end in the near future.

Is this the demise of this ’European Artificial Concept’ European Union (EU) and currency union, where none of the governments that are part of the whole is capable of showing us a uniting narrative – which means that the stupid shouting of rightist disruption mushrooms is being slurped up by an abandoned citizenry like Grail Messages?

Or is this diffuse concept EU doomed because all its borders have to stay open? Since, as the German Chancellor – who simultaneously writes into her subjects’ annals that a 3,000 kilometre-long border as Germany has it cannot be controlled anyway – tells her citizens that otherwise the Euro will have failed. Just like the EU with its 14,000 kilometres of borders, cannot be expected to control them all?

And those who think they know better and tell people that ’Schengen ’ should under all circumstances have been adhered to and that the exterior borders should have been protected are told that, after the interior borders had fallen, they perhaps learned nothing at all from the world financial crisis that, too, was initiated by the Americans. After all, did anybody care about the Maastricht Rules when the individual governments hastily saved their banks because the economic control mechanisms had failed – or that is at least how they interpreted it – and, consequently, everybody had to return to the ’primate of politics’ as a matter of course?

And that is how we are going to continue, no matter what! As it is, the safety packages and soft budget limitations are an excellent tool for keeping the interest rates of ’Mr. Draghi’s EZB’ low and even for, without any shame, indebting ourselves even more without having to deal with the intricacies of debt reduction and structural reforms as the usual dumb asses demand!

What a pity that parts of the population and the EU and currency union get more and more dissatisfied regardless: masses of them run towards the leftist parties in the south and towards the right extremists and national conservatives in the north and east, instead of at long last becoming wise and taking their example from good old Germany – this is true for the euro crisis, the refugee crisis and the energy revolution! It would be quite easy, wouldn’t it?

Even if there might be the danger that the occasional wisecrack who believes that Germany, based on well-meaning, will actually do the wrong thing due to its uncoordinated policy, thereby threatening to destroy the peace project of a unified Europe. One of those wisecracks is he historian Heinrich August Winkler. He says: It is part of our German responsibility to kiss inflated moral egos that especially progressively inclined Germans world-wide possess good-bye. It is an erroneous belief that we, if necessary even all by ourselves, have to realize the good things. It must not become our lives’ lie!“

Hm – how confusing! This is definitely not what our Federal Chancellor thinks?

But maybe the man actually has a point?

KH
(Translated by Evelyn)